About Us

Mission, Vision and Community Impact

Animal Friends of Westmoreland was founded in 2006 by Candy Valentino. Through thousands of hours by volunteers, contractors, tradesmen, local schools and businesses within the community, it took 2 years to fully renovate and transform the building donated by Valentino into a fully functioning shelter.

We opened our doors to the public in November 2009 and to date, we have rescued, rehabilitated and rehomed over 7000 animals.

Our life-saving work is done by our incredible staff and an army of over 200 active volunteers contributing over 20,000 man-hours to our mission and the lives of whom we care.

We rescue animals and save lives. We provide love and joy to the humans who open their hearts to these animals and those who serve on their behalf as caregivers within our organization. We stand up for the voiceless. We help animals and children remember that they matter.

We open hearts and invite unconditional love. We inspire people to stand up and speak out against animal abuse. We encourage a community. We help children who have suffered abuse and neglect, find healing and gain trust as they relate to the animals who also share such horrific pasts. We remind the world that all lives matter.

In 2017, Animal Friends of Westmoreland expanded their mission with an additional location, a 62-acre farm. This once cattle farm was renovated and transformed into a sanctuary where large animals like chickens, mini-mules, cows, pigs, goats, sheep, and more will be able to find safety and solace.

The new site will also become home to our new adoption center that will house more dogs, cats and rabbits than our existing location can hold.

Our site plan includes walking trails, memorial park and enrichment opportunities for animals and their parents.

In addition, we will be standing in the gap to provide humane animal control and be a service to the municipalities, boroughs and towns in Westmoreland County.

We have a profound mission and a massive vision. Without your support, NONE of this would be possible.

Animal Friends Sanctuary.

Rescuing animals, saving lives and helping children heal.


Animal Friends of Westmoreland | Animal Friends Sanctuary was created by businesswoman and CEO, Candy Valentino.

For 15 years, Candy oversaw the direction, growth, operational aspects, as well as the financial responsibilities, marketing and public relations of the organization. She has served in this role since our inception; not as a paid staff but as a volunteer CEO.

Candy also led, directed and organized over 60 charity events for the organization, raising millions of dollars from the incentives and supporting our entire budget, since our inception.

Her undying dream was to breathe life into this organization and be on the front lines helping thousands of homeless, abandoned and abused animals. The creation of our adoption center and farm sanctuary was under the single goal of being a voice for the animals as well as creating a legacy that will continue to live and will have a positive impact for generations to come.

Her passion for animals and vision for our communities has grown even more since our inception. The addition of Animal Friends Sanctuary created refuge for animals of all species. It also gives us the ability to provide hope and healing for children and adults alike who have suffered horrific abuse and neglect themselves.

Candy has always had a heart for the senior and special needs dogs, and feels strongly about helping the less adoptable animals. She has numerous animals of her own, all of which are seniors & special needs.

Volunteer Board Members

  • Founder Candy Valentino
  • Vice President Jessica Rafferty; Quatrini Rafferty, P.C.
  • Secretary Jessica Marazza Second Half Coach Wealth Management
  • Treasurer Kelly Koshinsky; DeBlasio & DeBlaisio Associates CPA
  • Sarah DeWald; WATT Fuel Cell
  • Gina Kisel; Avolio Law Group
  • Adam Quatrini; Quatrini Rafferty, P.C.

Fulltime Staff

  • Executive Director Kelli Brisbane
  • Animal Care Manager Bethany Morse

Mission, Vision and Community Impact

Animal Friends of Westmoreland was founded in 2006 by Candy Valentino. Through thousands of hours by volunteers, contractors, tradesmen, local schools and businesses within the community, it took 2 years to fully renovate and transform the building donated by Valentino into a fully functioning shelter.

We opened our doors to the public in November 2009 and to date, we have rescued, rehabilitated and rehomed over 7000 animals.

Our life-saving work is done by our incredible staff and an army of over 200 active volunteers contributing over 20,000 man-hours to our mission and the lives of whom we care.

We rescue animals and save lives. We provide love and joy to the humans who open their hearts to these animals and those who serve on their behalf as caregivers within our organization. We stand up for the voiceless. We help animals and children remember that they matter.

We open hearts and invite unconditional love. We inspire people to stand up and speak out against animal abuse. We encourage a community. We help children who have suffered abuse and neglect, find healing and gain trust as they relate to the animals who also share such horrific pasts. We remind the world that all lives matter.

In 2017, Animal Friends of Westmoreland expanded their mission with an additional location, a 62-acre farm. This once cattle farm was renovated and transformed into a sanctuary where large animals like horses, donkeys and cows as well as pigs, goats, chickens and sheep will be able to find safety and solace.

The new site will also become home to our new adoption center that will house more dogs, cats and rabbits than our existing location can hold.

Our site plan includes walking trails, memorial park and enrichment opportunities for animals and their parents.

In addition, we will be standing in the gap to provide humane animal control and be a service to the municipalities, boroughs and towns in Westmoreland County.

We have a profound mission and a massive vision. Without your support, NONE of this would be possible.

Animal Friends Sanctuary.

Rescuing animals, saving lives and helping children heal.


Animal Friends of Westmoreland | Animal Friends Sanctuary was created by businesswoman and CEO, Candy Valentino.

For 15 years, Candy oversaw the direction, growth, operational aspects, as well as the financial responsibilities, marketing and public relations of the organization. She has served in this role since our inception; not as a paid staff but as a volunteer CEO.

Candy also led, directed and organized over 60 charity events for the organization, raising millions of dollars from the incentives and supporting our entire budget, since our inception.

Her undying dream was to breathe life into this organization and be on the front lines helping thousands of homeless, abandoned and abused animals. The creation of our adoption center and farm sanctuary was under the single goal of being a voice for the animals as well as creating a legacy that will continue to live and will have a positive impact for generations to come.

Her passion for animals and vision for our communities has grown even more since our inception. The addition of Animal Friends Sanctuary created refuge for animals of all species. It also gives us the ability to provide hope and healing for children and adults alike who have suffered horrific abuse and neglect themselves.

Candy has always had a heart for the senior and special needs dogs, and feels strongly about helping the less adoptable animals. She has numerous animals of her own, all of which are seniors & special needs.

Candy Valentino

Founder


"As difficult and heavy as this journey has been, I am honored to be doing it. Seeing the little faces of the thousands of lives we've saved, and knowing how many more we will continue to help, makes all of the work worth it." "I may have been the one who started this organization, but there are hundreds if not thousands of people who make it all possible. Our incredible staff, dedicated volunteers and army of supporters and donors who make it all possible. It's been such a blessing to work alongside so many incredible people who are also committed to making a difference." -

Volunteer Board Members

  • Founder Candy Valentino
  • Vice President Jessica Rafferty; Quatrini Rafferty, P.C.
  • Secretary Jessica Marazza Second Half Coach Wealth Management
  • Treasurer Kelly Koshinsky; DeBlasio & DeBlaisio Associates CPA
  • Sarah DeWald; WATT Fuel Cell
  • Gina Kisel; Avolio Law Group
  • Adam Quatrini; Quatrini Rafferty, P.C.

Fulltime Staff

  • Executive Director Kelli Brisbane
  • Animal Care Manager Bethany Morse